When Walt Sloan began performing he was known as “Wally”, singing, acting and performing magic tricks on stage in elementary school. In high school he turned his attention to sports, joining the football, baseball and wrestling teams. In his junior year he gave up those sports to focus on competitive artistic roller skating, which he began before entering high school. He competed in the U. S. Amateur Roller Skating Association throughout high school and college, winning six national titles from 1967 to 1970. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois – Chicago, with a BS in Applied Physics, “Wally” became “Walt” and he followed his father’s footsteps into a career in engineering. Years later he found his passion in the performing arts, which was his mother’s field.
Early in their marriage, Walt and his wife Esther had a circle of friends that included many singers and musicians. They would regularly gather to sing and play their guitars, banjos and basses, focusing on folk music and bluegrass. Walt began learning to play the guitar from his musician friends. In 1978 he began composing and performing song parodies to provide entertainment at his company's monthly employee meetings. This evolved into performing at his company’s regional and national events. By 1984 he had performed for employee audiences of several hundred people from all over the country, at venues that included Marriott’s Lincolnshire Resort and the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
He continued to perform at company meetings and community events throughout the 80s and in 1993 made his first of 19 community theatre appearances for CenterStage in Lake Forest. Walt then began performing for the Citadel Theatre Company, a professional non-equity theatre company in Lake Forest. He performed for Citadel in Lake Forest and at the Chicago Cultural Center as an ensemble member in 365 Days/365 Plays, and in their production of ’Til the Fat Lady Sings at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse in Chicago.
In 2004, Walt ventured from theatre, performing as a featured extra in an episode of MTV’s High School Stories. This was followed by extra work in two independent films. Since then, he has appeared in lead and supporting roles in over 40 films and television productions, including a supporting role in “4 and a half Terrorists”, winner of the 2008 Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition. He appeared in a 2010 Super Bowl commercial, several regional commercials, a national radio commercial, and several industrial and educational films. Walt appeared in featured roles in “A Sicilian Odyssey” and “Return to the Hiding Place”, which premiered at the Festival de Cannes, March du Film in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
In addition to his acting, Walt sings bass/baritone with The Buckthorns, a 12-member mixed a cappella group that has been performing in the Chicago area since 1995. Walt and his wife Esther have three children and three grandchildren.
Walt is represented for acting, voice, and print by Shirley Hamilton, Inc.